At their April 7 meeting, the Planning Board directed the Planning
Department to prepare a resolution requiring an extensive environmental
impact study on an application that included
the demolition of a century-old Sammis Street home.
public hearing on the application to subdivide the property, Chairman
Paul Ehrlich stated, “It is clear that the application would have a
material adverse impact on the character of the neighborhood
that needs to be addressed in a more extensive environmental impact
study.” He then polled the Planning Board members, receiving a
consensus, and directed the Planning Department to prepare a resolution
declaring a “POSDEC,” or Positive Declaration, requiring
an extensive environmental impact study to be conducted.
Ehrlich also tabled a scheduled agenda item to discuss waivers sought by
the applicant, stating that doing so would be “premature.” The
applicant is seeking to create a three-lot subdivision
of single-family homes on the site.
residents of Sammis Street petitioned the Town to have the concrete
roadway and the sycamore trees along the street declared historic
landmarks. The Town Board declared the roadway a historic
landmark in 2003. This designation did not apply to the houses on the street, as the residents opted out of designating the homes as historic.
2018, when the owner of 45 Sammis Street applied to subdivide that
property into three lots, the Planning Department requested comments
from the Historic Preservation Commission.
Initially, the Commission expressed a preference for the house to
stay with the possibility of subdividing a lot for a new house in the
2019, the Commission visited the house. The only means available to the
Commission to protect a house from demolition is to recommend it for
landmark designation; that can only be done
if the house meets the criteria set forth in the Town Code. The
Commission determined that on its own the house did not meet the
criteria for landmark designation however it would be protected from
demolition as a contributing structure to a historic district,
if such a district were established.
petition exists requesting the establishment of an historic district
that includes all the houses on Sammis Street; the process may only
proceed once a petition is in compliance with the
Town Code. Once in compliance, the Commission would submit its
recommendation to the Town Board, which would be required to vote on
establishing the district in order to do so.